Ferrari: Another Review

Ferrari: Another Review

Ferrari: Another Review. By Daniel Rester.  

Michael Mann hasn’t directed a feature since the disappointing Blackhat (2015) eight years ago. He’s finally back with Ferrari, a film he has been developing for many years. The script was written by Troy Kennedy Martin, who passed away way back in 2009. It’s easy to understand why Mann has stayed attracted to the project for so long though as Enzo Ferrari was a fascinating man.

The film is based on the book Enzo Ferrari: The Man, the Cars, the Races, the Machine (1991) by Brock Yates and mostly takes place in 1957. Adam Driver plays the legendary Enzo. Driver is 40 right now while Enzo was 59 in 1957. Despite some skillful makeup work and commitment by Driver, he does feel a bit miscast. I kept imaging Toni Servillo in the role instead as he would have been a perfect fit. Shailene Woodley also feels out of place as Lina Lardi, Enzo’s mistress who he had a son with. 



The main story focus here is on Enzo’s deteriorating marriage to Laura Ferrari (Penélope Cruz) while he prepares for the 1957 Mille Miglia. Enzo brings in drivers Alfonso de Portago (Gabriel Leone), Peter Collins (Jack O’Connell), and Piero Taruffi (Patrick Dempsey) for the big race. He also faces company bankruptcy and is reeling from the death of he and Laura’s son Dino.

Mann makes Ferrari a sleek and intelligent sports drama and mostly overcomes the odd casting choices at the center. Cruz electrifies the film with a great performance as well. She portrays Laura as determined and emotional while never getting too melodramatic. She is Mann’s ace in the hole here. 

The Mille Miglia section of the film is frequently exciting, though it does move us away from Enzo and Laura for a bit as it focuses on the drivers. The sound design is top-notch as the cars roar down the country roads. Cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt provides some beautiful aerial shots during the race while editor Pietro Scalia and composer Daniel Pemberton give a nice rhythm to the action Mann has crafted.  

The 1957 Mille Miglia of course ended in tragedy. Mann doesn’t shy away from the horrifying thing that occurred. The event is displayed in a gruesome manner that shows the crazy dangers of races. I do wish Mann focused on the aftermath of the race a bit more though as the film wraps up soon after; we don’t get to sit with the event’s impact or Enzo’s reaction long enough. 

Ferrari doesn’t try to cover too much of its central figure’s life and accomplishments, like the recent Napoleon mistakenly did. Mann instead keeps the film fixed as he explores one hellish year in Enzo’s life. The results are frequently riveting. 

Rating: 8.3/10


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